Ashlee Brown suffered more than 100 injuries. The mother-of-three had been bound, gagged and had her long hair cut off
A Muslim man who left his wife to die for five days after a horrific attack likened to an ‘Islamic honour killing’ believes he should not have to serve eight years for his crimes.
Mohamed Naddaf will face Victoria’s Court of Appeal – and his dead wife’s mother – next month when he challenges the severity of that jail term.
Naddaf’s wife Ashlee Brown was found in the passenger seat of the family car after enduring a ‘deliberate and frenzied assault’ which included being tied up with clothesline wire.
The 25-year-old mother of three children aged under five had been bashed, stabbed, gagged and had her long strawberry blonde hair cut off.
Her 37-year-old husband told police he found Ashlee in that state and chose to ‘care’ for her in their house at Craigieburn in Melbourne’s north rather than calling for help.
Naddaf had helped his wife into their bathroom, put her down on a flannelette sheet on the floor and fed her water through a syringe for five days.
He set up a television and heater and brought Ashlee a pillow as he tended to her wounds in what a court heard was their ‘unkempt and dirty’ home.
Naddaf finally called emergency services after Ashlee died on November 6, 2016 from complications arising from more than 100 injuries.
Ashlee’s mother Siobhann believes her daughter’s injuries and the circumstances of her death had ‘all the hallmarks of an Islamic honour killing.’
Ms Brown describes Naddaf’s appeal as a slap in the face for her family, who may never know what really happened to Ashlee. It is not suggested Naddaf was involved in the attack on his wife.
Mohamed Naddaf was sentenced to eight years’ jail for the criminally negligent manslaughter of his wife Ashlee Brown in their Melbourne home. Ashlee had suffered more than 100 injuries. Naddaf is now appealing against the severity of that sentence in Victoria’s Court of Appeal
Siobhann Brown (pictured) had not heard from her eldest daughter Ashlee for five years when she learnt of her death. Ashlee had called to say she was converting to Islam to get married. Ms Brown believes her daughter’s death had ‘all the hallmarks of an Islamic honour killing’
Ashlee Brown and Mohamed Naddaf (both pictured) lived together in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Ashlee was 25 when she was found dead on the bathroom floor of the couple’s home
Ms Brown said Naddaf had only been found responsible for not having called an ambulance for Ashlee and no one had ever been convicted of inflicting her injuries.
‘The knowledge that Mohamed could have called for help and saved Ashlee’s life but chose not to do so clearly should show how cold he really is,’ Ms Brown said.
A post-mortem examination found Ashlee had suffered injuries to her head, torso, buttocks and limbs. She had been stabbed in the thighs and had bruising to her right side, including her breast.
Naddaf, who was trying to resuscitate Ashlee in front of their two-year-old daughter when paramedics arrived, told police: ‘I honestly didn’t think she was going to die.’
He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent manslaughter and was sentenced in July 2018 to a minimum eight years in jail.
Naddaf indicated last year he intended appealing against the severity of that sentence and the case has now been set down for hearing by three judges of Victoria’s Court of Appeal.
Ms Brown, who describes Naddaf’s appeal as ‘Mohamed’s pity him day’ says she will turn up to the hearing ‘with bells on’.
‘We still do not know exactly what happened to our Ashlee,’ Ms Brown said. ‘Nobody was ever charged with her murder.
”What Ashlee must have felt and endured is beyond anything anybody should ever have to go through but she did.’
Ms Brown said Ashlee would have turned 29 on January 23.
Five years after Ashlee Brown told her mother she was marrying Mohamed Naddaf (pictured) she was found dead in the couple’s marital home. Naddaf pleaded guilty to manslaughter
Siobhann Brown protesting outside court before Mohamed Naddaf was jailed for eight years
‘Ashlee was a fun-loving girl,’ Siobhann Brown told Daily Mail Australia of her child. ‘She was giving. She was loving. She loved the sun, the beach. She loved singing, dancing, having fun’
‘It is one thing to have to live through the nightmare of Ashlee’s passing with no trial, no murder charge, but now the law allows him to appeal his sentence as he feels it is too excessive,’ she said.
‘Where is our Ashlee’s appeal? Where is the reasoning? There isn’t any.
‘That is like slapping Ashlee’s family’s face and then laughing at us. That’s how I feel.
‘I can only hold fast and have faith that justice will prevail and he stays inside to carry out his entire sentence.’
The Supreme Court heard Naddaf found his wife covered in blood from ‘head to toe’ but Justice John Champion found there was ‘no explanation as to how and in whose hands she was treated so brutally.’
Naddaf told detectives his wife had asked him not to call for help and he had warned her ‘you’re gonna die baby, you’re gonna die.’
Justice Champion said Naddaf’s response was ‘pathetically weak’ and showed a ‘gross lack of respect’ for his wife.
He did not accept Naddaf’s claim that Ashlee asked him not to call for help in case their three children were taken by authorities.
‘All that was required was a phone call,’ Justice Champion said. ‘Her death was slow, avoidable and miserable.’
Siobhann Brown waves an Australian flag at a protest organised by the Australian Liberty Alliance outside the sentencing of Mohamed Naddaf over Ms Brown’s daughter’s death
‘I’m not telling Ashley’s story to make friends,’ Siobhann Brown says of her daughter. ‘I don’t want to tell lies, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m telling Ashlee’s story for it to be known’
‘You left her… to deteriorate and die before your own eyes and those of your children.’
Police initially charged Naddaf with assault and false imprisonment. They later accused him of killing his wife, but then prosecutors withdrew the charges and agreed to let him plead guilty to manslaughter.
HOW DID 25-YEAR-OLD ASHLEE BROWN DIE?
Ashlee Brown was found dead on her bathroom floor at Craigieburn, in Melbourne’s north, on November 6, 2016.
Her husband Mohamed Naddaf, 37, told police he had found Ashlee bloodied and beaten in their garage four or five days earlier.
Naddaf said he had ‘cared’ for Ashlee instead of calling an ambulance because she had not wanted help.
A post-mortem examination found Ashlee had suffered more than 100 injuries to her head, torso, buttocks and limbs.
She had been stabbed in the thighs and had bruising to her right side, including her breast.
Naddaf was originally charged with assault and false imprisonment.
He was later charged with killing his wife but then prosecutors withdrew the charges and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter based on negligence.
Naddaf was not accused of causing any physical harm to Ashlee.
He was sentenced to a minimum eight years’ prison in July 2018.
Justice Champion said Naddaf’s motivation for not acting to save his wife was unclear.
The court heard Naddaf had a significant criminal history and was a long-term drug user – taking heroin, marijuana and ice.
‘The Crown is not in a position to prove who inflicted the injuries upon Ms Brown,’ Justice Champion said.
‘It is not possible to say exactly when Ms Brown died but… she suffered to a considerable degree.’
Naddaf was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment with a minimum term of eight years before being eligible for parole. He had already served 621 days in pre-sentence detention.
Ms Brown has previously told Daily Mail Australia she had not heard from her eldest daughter since a phone call five years before she died.
On that occasion her daughter told her she was marrying a Muslim man and was three months’ pregnant with her first child.
Ms Brown had met Naddaf when Ashlee visited the family’s home in country Victoria when she was about 18.
‘She introduced him as ‘Macca’,’ Ms Brown said. ‘It was very brief.
‘He seemed like a nice, very polite, young man. It pains me to say that. I didn’t see him again after that.’
There was no communication for some time before a phone call came ‘out of the blue’ that would mean the end of all contact between Ms Brown and her daughter.
Ashlee Brown, 25, was found dead on her bathroom floor with more than 100 blunt and sharp force injuries covering most of her body. She had been bound, gagged and had her hair cut off
‘It’s an absolute kick in the guts,’ Ms Brown has said of Mohamed Naddaf’s appeal against his sentence. ‘It’s such a shock, I couldn’t believe it. The whole thing makes me physically sick’
When Ashlee was about 20 she rang to say she was pregnant and wanted her mother’s blessing to convert to Islam and marry Naddaf.
‘She said to me, “Mum, I need your blessing to become Muslim”. She said, “I’m three months’ pregnant and I’m engaged to Mohamed. I would really like to marry him, mum, and settle down and have a baby”.
‘I said to her, “Darling, I don’t know anything about the Muslim religion. As long as you know what you’re doing”.
‘I said, “Do you have to wear one of those burqas or hijabs?’ I didn’t know what they were called”.
‘She said, “No mum, only when I go into the mosque because it’s disrespectful for a woman to show her face before God”.
‘I said to Ashlee, “As long as you’re making a fully informed decision and it’s what you really want”.’
Ashlee said that it was.
Siobhann Brown and her teenage daughter Dakota-Lee (right) both have an elaborate arm tattoo in memory of Ashlee(left). Mother and daughter want people to know how Ashlee died
‘There was a pause after that,’ Ms Brown said. ‘She said, “Thank you, mum”. And then her voice seemed to change and she said, “It’s Islam”. That didn’t mean anything to me at the time.
‘We said goodbye to each other and we hung up and I didn’t hear from Ashlee again.’
Ms Brown said she was convinced the lack of subsequent contact with Ashlee was solely down to her religious conversion and Naddaf controlling his wife.
‘I believe Islam killed my daughter,’ the 48-year-old said.
‘If I could have taken that phone call back I would have not have given her my blessing. I would have said “No, sorry love”.
‘I’m not telling Ashlee’s story to make friends. I don’t want to tell lies, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m telling Ashlee’s story for it to be known.’
Ms Brown could not believe her daughter would willingly cease all contact with her mother and three siblings, who are now aged 13 to 23.
She has never met Ashlee’s three children who were aged aged three, two and six months old when their mother died.
A spokesman for the Court of Appeal said Naddaf’s appeal against his sentence would be heard by the Court of Appeal on March 2.
Protesters demanding ‘Justice for Ashlee’ joined Ashlee Brown’s mother Siobhann (centre, holding placard) outside the Victorian Supreme Court as Mohamed Naddaf was sentenced